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Saber Employee Keeps OMA Program Alive Through Pandemic
The Opening Minds Through Art Program Helps Residents Explore their Creativity
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – Marie Day, Life Enrichment Director at Bath Creek Estates, took the initiative to keep the Opening Minds Through Arts (OMA) program alive throughout the pandemic. Day has been a licensed OMA facilitator since 2017, and had the idea to adjust the program to help the residents engage in their creativity while visitation and activities were limited.
OMA is an intergenerational program, founded by like lokon, typically for residents with dementia. Volunteers in the OMA program work one-on-one with a resident to create artwork as a form of self-expression.
With the pandemic, volunteers were not allowed to see residents. However, Day felt that the program would benefit all residents, not just the ones with dementia, who wanted to have social contact and utilize their creativity. She asked for interested staff members to facilitate the program and work with the residents individually.
“I took the idea and converted the process – I bought the tools and the paint, and we placed them on carts. We had staff go door-to-door to find residents who wanted to create artwork,” Day explained.
The Life Enrichment team was able integrate OMA in their schedules and work with the residents to help them paint. Additionally, Joann DePolo Studios in North Olmstead opened their doors and let the residents display their artwork. This was an exciting event where the residents could showcase the art that they proudly created.
Currently, PAIR, a non-profit 501C3 organization dedicated to bringing OMA to northeast Ohio communities, connected 3 Ursuline college students to Bath Creek Estates. These students are participating in the OMA program to pioneer a pilot program where the residents interact virtually to create art.
“While OMA continued virtually in many communities, Bath Creek Estates was able to still make it one-on-one,” Day told us. “We are now working on creating a hybrid program with virtual and in-person activities to help our residents.”
About Saber Healthcare Group: Established in 2001, the Cleveland-based company has grown from two skilled nursing facilities to more than 120 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in seven states (Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida). Saber’s “On the Cutting Edge of Healthcare” philosophy has spurred its growth and the company to implement greater healthcare knowledge and technologies to serve residents and patients in better ways.